Preparing for a Recital examination
1. Approval of Date and Program
Not less than two months before your allocated recital examination, you must complete and submit a MMus Recital Program Approval Form (pdf file, 195kb) including program notes.
- This material should be addressed to the Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium and submitted to the Graduate Programs Office.
- It must include the names of any associate artists.
- The program will be circulated to staff for comment, and in some cases to potential examiners. This process may take some weeks, and you should not regard the program as approved until this is confirmed in writing by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Master of Music Recital Examinations are usually held during the day in Melba Hall at 11.00am or 2.15pm. The determination of the date depends on the availability of the venue and examiner arrangements, and is a matter for the Faculty: you will be advised as soon as it is known. You should not confirm accompanists or other arrangements until the date is confirmed in writing by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
2. Performance Guidelines
- Examination performances will be held in a public concert hall in the presence of an audience.
- The normal conventions of public concerts should be observed:
- Normal codes of dress and presentation are expected.
- Candidates are expected to perform from memory when it is normal concert practice to do so. All candidates should present part of their performance from memory.
- The time and date are fixed and advertised and cannot be deferred, except in the case of serious physical impairment. Students who are unwell (but not physically unable to perform) should apply for Special Consideration, but proceed at the scheduled time.
- The programs should normally be planned to cover a wide range of styles, and include major works.
- Alternatively, under special circumstances a candidate may be permitted to specialise in the works of one period, or give special emphasis to the works of one composer. A request for specialisation must be made in writing to the Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, giving reasons for the request. Candidates should not assume that such a request will automatically be granted.
- Programs should be of normal concert length (75 to 90 minutes) and be planned with an interval.
- Candidates must prepare written program notes for distribution to the examiners and audience. The scholarship and quality of these notes will be taken into account in the total assessment (see guidelines below).
- A concert standard of performance will be expected. You will need to demonstrate advanced technical accomplishment, and show that you are capable of performing major works with ease and fluency. A full understanding of the stylistic requirements and the musical demands of your program is also essential. Performances at this level need to be interesting and distinctive, capable of maintaining the attention of examiners and audience. You should also take trouble with the overall presentation of the recitals, working with your supervisor on aspects of stage appearance and recital conventions. This will assist you in being more comfortable and assured under the pressure of sustained public appearance.
3. Program Notes
As part of their recital examinations, all MMus students are required to write and design their own concert programs. These need to be submitted for approval in their final form well in advance of the recital date (as detailed above). Program notes are considered by examiners when determining a recital grade.
Thirty copies of the Program Notes are to be submitted to the Graduate Program Office of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music no later than three weeks prior to the recital examination.
Please consult the Guide to Writing Program Notes.
4. Copies of Scores
No later than three weeks before the recital, you must also provide three photocopies (be aware of copyright restrictions) of all the music scores for the examiners. These should be lodged with the Graduate Programs Office of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
5. Appointment of Examiners
A Board of Examiners is individually constituted for each recital examination, normally comprising three persons: two specialist examiners and the Director (or nominee) as Chair. One specialist will usually be from outside the University, and generally will be associated with another University or professional ensemble. If you have objections to the appointment of any person as an examiner, you are entitled to have these objections considered. This should be discussed with the Director at the time your program is submitted for approval. The identity of the examiners will remain confidential until the completion of the examination, and their identity may only be revealed with their written permission.